How to Vet Your Prospective Shopify Agency, Freelancer, or Partner

What should you ask before partnering with an agency, freelancer, or partner to grow your Shopify store? Get tips and advice from a leading Shopify design studio on how to vet potential candidates and make your decision.
Written by
Ryan Stogran
Published on
17 January 2022


  • Start your search for a Shopify partner by researching online, seeking referrals, and reviewing portfolios—paying special attention to their experience with Shopify and your industry.
  • Look at the range of services the provider offers, their pricing structure, and assess the value you're getting for your investment.
  • Ask potential partners about their past projects, communication strategies, timelines, and post-project support to understand their approach and reliability.
  • When evaluating proposals, compare costs, the value each provider brings, and trust your overall impression of each provider.
  • Choose a partner with proven expertise in Shopify who offers customized solutions and provides ongoing support for your long-term success.

In the dynamic world of e-commerce, selecting the right Shopify service provider can be the difference between just surviving and truly thriving. Your chosen partner plays a pivotal role in shaping your online store, influencing everything from the user experience you offer to your conversion rates and sales. That makes it absolutely vital to vet potential candidates meticulously and choose someone who aligns with your vision—so that together, you can propel your business forward.

As a design studio with years of experience developing successful Shopify stores for our partners, our team at RS Creativ knows exactly what kind of support growing ecommerce businesses need. Here’s our guide to choosing an agency, freelancer, or partner for your store so that you can have confidence in the people you do business with and enjoy the results they’ll help you achieve.

First Steps: Researching & Identifying Potential Partners

It’s not a bad idea to cast a wide net when you’re looking for support with your Shopify store. But simply searching online without any kind of focus or criteria won’t guarantee that you end up going into business with someone whose skills, experience, and values are a good match for your brand. Referrals can be a useful way to narrow down your options—as well as looking at businesses with a high number of positive reviews and testimonials from previous clients in your niche.

But no matter how you’ve found your longlist of potential partners, you’ll want to delve deeper into their offerings to make sure they’re offering the right service for your needs. Here are some tips:

Shopify store owner researching potential partners with laptop and notebook

Review Their Portfolios

Look through any available sample materials and case studies to get a sense of your potential Shopify partner’s work quality, design sensibility, and track record of success.

Consider Your Brand Identity

Look for a provider whose style and approach resonate with your brand's identity and your business goals. What kind of audience does your brand target, and has the agency or freelancer in question supported other stores that cater to similar demographics?

Assess Their Experience & Expertise with Shopify

Ensure your prospective partner has a solid understanding of the Shopify platform and has a track record of delivering successful projects. They should be able to customize Shopify themes, create custom Shopify apps, and integrate third-party apps to enhance your store's functionality.

Consider Their Industry Knowledge & Expertise Within Your Niche

In addition to having experience designing for similar audiences, it’s best to look for a provider who has worked with businesses similar to yours. They should understand your industry's nuances, trends, and challenges. It's a significant advantage if they have worked with businesses that operate specifically in your sector or a closely related field.

Icons overlaid on laptop and mini shopping cart to symbolize support services for Shopify store owners

Look At Their Range of Services

Consider the breadth of services the provider offers. Can they handle all aspects of your project, or will you need to engage additional resources? Providers offering a comprehensive range of services, from design to marketing automation, can be particularly valuable.

Factor in Their Pricing & Value for Money

While cost shouldn't be the only factor in your decision, it's essential to consider the value you're getting for your investment. Consider the provider's pricing structure, the scope of their services, and the potential return on investment.

Questions to Ask Your Prospective Provider

Having an open and in-depth conversation with your prospective provider is crucial. Here are some questions you should ask:

  • Ask for examples of past projects similar to yours and any client testimonials. This will help you gauge their expertise and their ability to deliver on their promises.
  • Inquire about their project management and communication strategies. Are they organized, responsive, and transparent? Do they keep their clients informed and involved throughout the project?
  • Discuss timelines and delivery dates. Ensure that their schedule aligns with your needs and that they can deliver within your desired timeframe.
  • Ask about their policy for post-project support and maintenance. Will they provide ongoing support and updates to your site?
Shopify store owner considering different proposals from growth partners

Evaluating Proposals and Making a Decision

When you've gathered all the necessary information, it's time to evaluate proposals and make a decision. Compare proposals, costs, and the value each provider brings. Assess each provider's ability to meet your goals and consider your rapport with them. Finally, trust your instincts and consider the overall impression each provider has made.

Find Comprehensive Support for Your Shopify Store with RS Creativ

As we mentioned above, our team at RS Creativ has spent years successfully developing Shopify stores and helping them grow—so we’re an excellent place to start (and potentially end) your search for a growth partner. Here’s what you get by working with us:

Proven Expertise in Shopify Design & Development

Our team provides a comprehensive range of Shopify design and development services, from customizing Shopify themes to creating custom Shopify apps and integrating third-party apps to optimize your store's functionality. We also have relationships with digital marketing experts who can provide content and ongoing SEO support to keep your business ranking and banking on Google and other search engines.

Customized Solutions Tailored to Your Business Needs

Taking a personalized approach to every client means you’re only ever paying for support that directly matches your goals and resources. Our Purple™ process is a unique approach to marketing audits that provides us with an in-depth analysis of your needs based on your position in the marketplace and what you’re trying to achieve. From there, we can effectively determine the services that will be most beneficial for you and create a cost-effective plan to grow your business—the way you want to grow it.

Ongoing Support & Commitment to Success

With RS Creativ, the relationship doesn't end when the project is completed. Our team is standing by to provide ongoing support and guidance, helping you grow your online presence and succeed in the long term.

Choosing the right Shopify service provider is a strategic decision that can significantly impact the future of your e-commerce business. Use what you’ve learned from us to hire an experienced Shopify partner who can offer the customized solutions and ongoing support you need. We’re ready to guide your Shopify store in the right direction, assisting you with strategic decisions in almost every area so that you can successfully grow your online business.


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